Olivia James

I was always interested in technology & business, but never knew where it could take me career wise as I never had the luxuries of career talks, insight days or knowing someone in the industry.

I also was never the most academic at school so was worried my options would be limited.

However, after leaving sixth form I deferred my place at University for a year and worked full-time in a credit card bank. I then attended the University of Portsmouth for a whole term studying Law with Business, before trying to change to a Business Management degree after realising that Law really wasn’t for me but being too late, so decided to go home and rethink my plan of action!

I then stumbled across IBM’s Chartered Business Management Degree Apprenticeship (before achieving my promotion 6 months early!) which combined my passion for technology and business into one, whilst providing me with the opportunity to achieve the degree I wanted to change to and also to become a Chartered Manager on top of that! It was perfect and the rest has been history since…

I have had various roles since joining IBM – Project Management Officer (PMO), Junior Project Manager, Commercial Analyst, Scrum Master & Business Analyst.

Across a range of industries – Financial Markets, Banking, Chemicals & Petroleum and Automotive.

All of which have enabled me to assist businesses in transforming and accelerating their digitial journeys/platforms, gaining insights into commercials, stakeholder management, agile, design thinking, technical delivery, leadership of multi-discipline teams and third parties, and project management.

In addition to my day job, I regularly get involved with internal and external intiatives as a champion of diversity & inclusion to constantly reinvent the workplace and employee experiences, whilst encouraging and mentoring others to join our family.

All of this has made me truly understand the phrase: “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.”